Happy Birthday to Jennifer Lopez, the American actress, singer, dancer, and producer who was born in The Bronx to Puerto Rican parents 50 years ago today. Known as ‘J-Lo,’ her 1999 debut album, On the 6, helped propel the Latin pop movement in American music—and with the simultaneous release of her second album, J.Lo, and her starring role in the rom-com movie The Wedding Planner, Lopez became the first woman to have a number one album and film in the same week.

Following other films, like Monster-in-Law, she became a judge on American Idol, and released her seventh studio album Love?. Her massive celebrity success, along business ventures—including a popular clothing and fragrance line, a production company, and a charitable foundation—J-Lo has become one of the most influential people in the world, according to Forbes and Time. LEARN about her charity foundation and see a cute pic of her 11-year-old taken on tour two weeks ago… (1969)

Jennifer posted this pic for her 9.6 million fans on Instagram – backstage on tour with her 11-year-old son two weeks ago

In 2009, Lopez launched the Lopez Family Foundation with her sister, Lynda. The nonprofit improves healthcare availability for underprivileged women and children, and offers a telemedicine program supported by a partnership with the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The foundation has led to the expansion of medical facilities in Panama and Puerto Rico, and created the Center for a Healthy Childhood at the Montefiore Medical Center in her hometown of The Bronx.

Featured photo by dvsross in 2014, CC license

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Brigham Young led 148 Mormons fleeing from religious persecution into Salt Lake Valley—and following 17 months of travel, they established Salt Lake City (1847)
  • 90 years ago today, the Pact of Paris went into effect as an international treaty “providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy”—62 nations ultimately signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact—named for the French and American politicians who drafted the pact that heavily influenced later international law (1929)
  • U.S. President Richard Nixon was ordered by the Supreme Court to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate prosecutor (1974)
  • Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the last Tsar of Bulgaria, when he was a child, became the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and the only monarch in history to regain political power through democratic election to a different office (2001)
  • Lance Armstrong won a record-setting seventh Tour de France, nine years after being given a 50 percent chance of survival from testicular cancer (2005) Read GNN coverage of his first win

And, on this day in 1911, American academic Hiram Bingham III, after being guided by indigenous farmers, became the first Westerner to lay eyes on Machu Picchu, the 15th century Incan citadel set high on a peak in the Andes Mountains in Peru. His book Lost City of the Incas became an instant bestseller in 1948.

Photo by Martin St-Amant, CC license

And, on this day in 1920, Bella Abzug was born in New York City. A lawyer nicknamed “Battling Bella”, she was a social activist for peace, a U.S. congresswoman and a fierce fighter for women’s rights—chairing White House commissions, and founding organizations that worked around the world.Bella_Abzug_1971-pubdomain

When she was 13 and her father died, Abzug was told that her orthodox synagogue did not permit women to say the Mourner’s Kaddish, since that rite was reserved for sons of the deceased. But because her father had no sons, she went to the synagogue every morning for a year to recite the prayer, defying the tradition of her orthodox congregation. Always wearing her characteristic hats, she was the author of two successful books, including, Bella: Ms. Abzug Goes to Washington. She died at age 77 after complications from heart surgery.

Photo by Drama League, CC license

And, Happy Birthday to Kristin Chenoweth, renowned actress and singer of Broadway and films, who turns 51 today. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Sally in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She originated the role of Glinda in the musical Wicked, was often seen on Sesame Street, and won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a comedy series for her role in Pushing Daisies. The Oklahoma girl studied opera at the local university before deciding to pursue a career in musical theatre. She’s currently starring in the new NBC comedy “Trial and Error.” (1968)

WATCH her talk about turning 50, and what her pal Prince told her about getting old…

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